Driving on Highways - Do's and Don'ts!!


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TSIVipul

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Disclaimer: All the views mentioned are completely mine and are based upon my own personal experience and hence one can expect some deviations depending upon driving style, traffic behavior etc. Rest I have tried to keep shortest possible in every chapter.

Hello guys, after the successful completion of my car buying series(based on financial issues),which has three threads viz..
  • What car should be bought at what income?
  • Buying your car on finance-The complete guide.
  • The what car thread-helping you choose the right car.

Now we can hope that you have chosen the right car for you. So now here is the new series which is no more boring finance related thread, instead this time its again a new series which is based on driving, driving, driving and DRIVING-The thing we people love at its best.
In this new series I have mentioned various tips and tricks(purely based on my own driving experience )which can be useful while driving on various kind of roads…err…various environments. This new series is based on how to change your driving style and some other factors which makes the difference between driving and good driving. Here we will discuss some points which if kept into consideration while driving in different environments like crowded cities, open highways or twisty hills can help you enjoy your drive at its best and of course very safely. So this series will comprise of four threads:
  • Driving in City-Do’s and Don’ts.
  • Driving on highways-Do’s and Don’ts.
  • Driving in hills-Do’s and Don’ts.
  • High speed driving-Do’s and Don’ts.

So as the thread title suggests, this is the second thread in the series “Driving on Highways-Do’s and Don’ts”.
So let’s move ahead, once again in same style..what style? Its chapterwise, so the chapters which we are going to discuss are as follows:
  • Know the road.
  • Know your car.
  • Lane discipline is crucial.
  • Setting your mirrors(IRVM and ORVMs).
  • Traffic behavior.
  • Respond to that horn or not?
  • Dangers involved in wrong maneuvers.
  • Right use of steering wheel.
  • Braking and safety.
  • Be patient-better late than never.


So let’s move on….[:)]
 
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Thread Starter #2

TSIVipul

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Re: Driving on highways-Do's and Don'ts!!

Chapter 1
Know the road

Have you ever proposed a girl whom you never knew? What response do you expect from her? I am hell sure, she will not say ‘YES’ at least. For good results you always follow three steps ie: Know her, befriend her and then propose her.

Here also nothing different is done, for the safety point of view it’s always good to know the road you are going to travel. In recent times, it is found that most of the accident victims on many roads are the first time travelers who just moved on without knowing how the road is going to turn up. We may have many times experienced issues like jumping over a speed breaker or getting the car cross a pit at high speed only because we were not aware of the road or because we were not aware of the position of that speed breaker or that pit but just sped up in that stretch seeing it empty.
Yes you are an expert driver and of course you know that roads you are going to drive on are national highways and they are wide too but still you need to be careful if you are a first timer. Most of the highways have points like some blind turns, cross sections, population or broken patches of whom the first timers are always unaware. Now during night time of seeing the empty stretches, people just press on gas and as a result they end up either hurting their car or even hurting themselves in some extreme cases.
So knowing the road has simple procedure, be slow enough that you can control your car in case you see anything unexpected and be fast enough that you can cover the whole distance in right time also without causing the problems to other traffic too!!
Also you can keep an eye on the front moving traffic(50% of it is definitely local) and monitor the speed and inputs of the front moving driver, this will help you a lot in judging what you can expect further ahead.
Example: If you see every vehicle moving ahead of you applying brake at a particular point and then moving ahead, then it’s always advisable that you too be ready for the same, maybe there is something on the road which is making others apply the brakes.
I think now we can move ahead to our next chapter..[:)]


Chapter 2
Know your car

How many of you have read newspaper articles saying “xx no. of people dead after their brand new car met with an accident due to high speed”??
Such articles are very common now a days, people just take their brand new car out and start checking out the guts of the car. Question arises: “I have good driving experience, I have kept 2-3 cars before, I know how to drive well..then what is left to be known in the car”?? My question is also simple and straight: Have you married by knowing that your wife is a ‘girl’ or you took some more details of her? Same is here, there is a lot to be known in your car before you push her to her limits on that open highway. You may have seen people telling how they bruised their car with that truck or how their car’s rear kissed that truck while overtaking or why they had to brake hard because there was no space for overtaking etc etc etc..
Before hitting the highway, some basic prospects that you must know about your car are as follows:
  • Space your car needs on the road
  • How does the steering response changes with speed?
  • How much of your car is ahead and behind you.
  • Body roll of your car.
  • In gear response of your car(In city you need just 1st and 2nd but for highway you need to know of 3rd, 4th and 5th too).
  • How your car behave under normal braking?
  • How your car behave under hard braking and it’s braking distance.
  • What’s the ground clearance of the car?

Knowing only how to use pedals, gear lever and steering wheel is never enough. You need to know what your car will do on the road and hence by knowing all the above points, you can make those perfect maneuvers which can help you keep safe and sound throughout the journey. Though there are a lot more points, but I guess these are the worth mentioning ones and hence I did it.
Now putting a full stop here, let’s move on to the next chapter..[:)]


Chapter 3
Lane discipline is crucial

In city driving due to comparatively lower speeds, you can ignore lanes a bit but on highways the story is completely different. If you are not following your lane then you are not only prone to accidents, also you are prone to the anger of other road users whom you will be disturbing by your acts like moving in two lanes or sudden lane cuttings etc.
What is lane discipline? Though this question is really easy but still let me give my definition of lane discipline. In my views lane discipline comprises of very simple three steps:
1):Move in your lane.
2):Follow the lane-speed and don’t frustrate other road users by any frustrating acts.
3):Follow indicate-notice-look-change path while changing lanes.

First two steps are simple and third step is explained as follows:
  • Indicate: As per your wish, indicate towards the lane you want to move in.
  • Notice: If anyone is behind, then most probably the vehicle will either blow horn or flash lights. If any vehicle is behind then it’s safer if you don’t switch the lane and wait for the vehicle to pass.
  • Look: sometimes it happens that the vehicle driver behind you is a bit too careless and hence doesn’t either blow horn nor he flashes lights, in this case before switching the lane it’s always a safer choice to first have a look in your ORVM before switching.
  • Change: This is the simplest step of four..if everything is clear…just turn the wheel!!

I think now we can move to our next chapter..[:)]
 
Thread Starter #3

TSIVipul

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Chapter 4
Setting your mirrors(IRVM and ORVMs)

It is said that a good driver has four eyes: Two in front and to at the back to keep an eye around. Two eyes are okay but what are those eyes at the back? Those two eyes are your ORVMs and the IRVM(or reversing mirror).
It’s a fact of which most of the drivers are unaware that ORVMs are meant to be adjusted different ways for different environments. While driving in city, since the speeds are relatively lower, hence you can afford to even ignore the wider view of the road behind you and hence setting ORVMs to cover everything near your car is always more advisable but on highways it’s always better to set your ORVM such a way that it covers a wider ground. Maybe you may loose the view of your own lane, but for that purpose you can use your reversing mirror or IRVM too.
Why it’s important to cover a wider ground? The reason to this query is very simple. In city you need to have a look at the traffic which is running parallel and very close to your vehicle and hence you adjust ORVMs for a closer view but on highways the traffic speed is fast and the road is also wider, so for getting the perfect view of any vehicle running closely behind your car but in an another lane and since the speeds are relatively higher, hence you can never afford to be careless or doing any wrong maneuver.
[:)]


Chapter 5
Traffic behavior

Once again a question “Now what’s there in traffic to behave”? And again my reply is simple “It’s not the traffic but the way the people in your city drive is what we call traffic behavior”.
First of all, how does the traffic behavior change? Traffic behavior is specific to various areas like In Uttarakhand you can find local traffic to be on the polite side while in Delhi you can find traffic to be in let-me-first style and in Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh you will find traffic quite violent where people are quick at quarrel too.
This way you must be aware of the behavior of the traffic in your city as well as the area you are going to drive in. In case you are visiting for first time, then it takes just 10-20 kms to understand the traffic behavior of the place. Traffic behavior includes various points which you need to know:
  • What’s the average traffic speed on your city roads?
  • Do people use any signals before changing lanes etc?
  • How do the people use hand and indicated signals?
  • What is the mentality of the road users?

The basic reason for knowing the traffic behavior is your and your car’s safety and of course a hassle free drive too. For an instance on a highway where no one gives to damn to laws you can’t drive with a cool mind if you are following the laws and you will in fact disturb other road users too and same way if you are driving on a highway where everyone follows the laws, there you can’t break them. It can result in serious safety hazards too added to the discomfort you will cause for yourself and other road users.
[:)]


Chapter 6
Respond to that horn or not?

Blowing horn is one of the favorite activities of Indian drivers, you can find many blowing horns for no purpose or say just to tell others that they also drive a vehicle.
In the cities, horn is blown nearly every hundred meters but on the highways you really need to blow them only when it’s unavoidable. There are instances like you are overtaking a bus and all of a sudden the bus has started moving in your lane or when someone comes in front of you etc. So our point is, should you respond to that horn? Let’s take three cases:
  • When you are moving in your lane: You are moving in your lane and you hear a horn, if the left lane is empty then you can change your lane to let the other vehicle pass and if you are not in a mood of changing the lane, then you can ignore the other driver, soon he will pass himself seeing the empty place.
  • When you are changing the lane: You are changing the lane and you hear a horn, then your first response must be ‘move straight instead of changing the lane and let the vehicle pass.
  • When a fast moving vehicle passes by: The drivers driving faster than others frequently blow the horns just to make others aware that they are passing them. Now in such cases it’s always the safest choice if you look into your ORVM and notice how quick the car is. If you are moving in two lanes then leave the one in which he car is coming, that also slowly and if the car is in your lane then move in your lane itself as the driver coming from behind may already have planned from where to overtake and you can result in changing the lane and coming exactly in front of that insanely speeding car.
Now let’s move to next chapter.[:)]
 
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TSIVipul

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Chapter 7
Dangers involved in wrong maneuvers

On the highway drives any wrong maneuver can prove life threateningly dangerous too and hence for the safety point of view you always need to be very careful and avoid any sudden or wrong maneuver as much as possible. Various wrong maneuvers and their effects are as follows:
  • Sudden lane changing: This is the most often done mistake and nearly every driver of the world does it once or twice in his/her every highway journey. Many times we come across cases where a speeding vehicle has banged an another vehicle form behind. Most of these happen only because of the sudden lane changing done by the front moving vehicle.
  • Doing donuts: Many vehicles get their rear part dented only because they were thinking like they will overtake a truck and will again take their lane before that hurdle in the way. Everything is okay if it’s correctly done but many times happens situations like something goes wrong and you end up getting your vehicle dented.
  • Entering between two vehicles: One day an uncle of mine did a mistake of squeezing his Santro between two trucks, after about 2-3 seconds then front moving truck applied brakes and then the rear moving one pushed his Santro under it resulting in major dents on the car and still I find many people doing so.
    If you see two heavy vehicles moving together with same speed, then entering your vehicle between them is very dangerous and hence it’s advisable to overtake such vehicles in one go instead of entering that road-moving-GRINDER.
  • Climbing on highway suddenly: Many people make this mistake where they neither indicate nor look back and make their vehicle move and climb the left lane all of a sudden. Many times such maneuver results in fatal accidents because this gives the rear moving vehicle no time to respond.

Though there are many more, but I mentioned the 4 which are mostly observed..now let’s move to next chapter.[:)]


Chapter 8
Right use of steering wheel

They said “Steering wheel is used only to give direction to the car” and I said “Steering wheel is the biggest safety equipment after the driver”. They haven’t agreed and next day their car met an accident because of the steering failure despite of brakes working perfectly.
What do we learn from this story? We learnt just one fact, as compared to brakes, seat belts, airbags and ABS etc the steering wheel is even bigger safety feature and it’s right use can keep you safe and sound in any journey. “But how can it result in safety”? Simple it is, because it can help the car move the way where it will be safe.
Right use of wheel is simple, there are some points:
  • Give light steering inputs as this will give other road users too some time to react to your inputs.
  • In case of emergency, use light steering input + brakes combo instead of only brakes.
  • Very heavy inputs can result in losing of control but light and progressive input can help you pass anything safely.
Well, if I start explaining it then it will take days..so let’s move to next chapter..[:)]


Chapter 9
Braking and safety

Brakes are directly related to safety as they give you those precious meters and of course that precious second which makes the difference between life and death on the road.
As mentioned in the above chapter, brakes+steering input is the safest combo and in case you need to apply brakes hard then we have two cases:
  • If you have ABS: In case you have ABS, then you are on a very safe side as you can apply hard brakes too and since your car will be still steerable hence you can easily save yourself from a lot of unexpected situations.
  • If you don’t have ABS: This is the tricky part then, most people make a mistake of applying sudden and hard brakes and this result in situations worsening even more and hence my first advise is “NEVER APPLY HARD BRAKES”. So first of all, you need to take care that your wheels never lock and the best way of this is progressive braking, in progressive braking you apply the brakes quite slowly and as a result they give very hard braking but still the wheels don’t lock.

Now you know how to use your brakes, next comes your wheel. Under hard braking, heavy steering inputs are always dangerous and hence light steering inputs must be given considering the safety point of view in the mind. In case of heavy steering inputs you can end up getting your car either overturning or rear wheels losing grip and both of these cases can worsen up the already worse emergency situation.
[:)]
 
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TSIVipul

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Chapter 10
Be patient-better late than never
I am sure you would have read this line hundreds of times and amazing this line is 100% true too.

With my experience of insane speeds what I know is:
  • If something has came in front..it’s all over baby.
  • If anything goes out of sync, then you never stand a second chance.
  • A wrong decision will be nothing less than life threatening.
  • You need to be just perfect, any imperfect decision can result in fatalities.
  • You need to be very firm on wheel, the car will never give you a second chance.

All this sounds dangerous and it is. Next time before moving north of 100 kph on highway once think of these points and this will help you keep safe.

Now what are you waiting for, pick up the keys and leave for that highway drive. Wishing you HAPPY AND SAFE JOURNEY..

Thanks for reading[:D](and bearing me)..[;)]


Waiting to hear from you guys...
 
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Here are few tips for Bikers who sometimes think they are invincible and ride as if they own NH, SH . TSIVipul has covered everything but still my 2cents On Riding a Bike on Highways.

1> " You and Your puny 2 wheeler is no match for any Car which weights least a 1000kg " Always Keep this in your mind . No matter even if you own R1, GSXR or Ninja still If you hit a car its going be YOU who will suffer the most out of that Impact. So when ever you are out on Highway Ride just keep your Ego at home and enjoy . If some speeding vehicle starts tail-gating GIVE HIM A WAY ! yes , I mean it .

2> I have developed a habit of checking RVM's at every 10-15th second , even if am riding at 120kmph.

3> Study and understand the Blind Spots of Vehicle. Trucks, Buses has a biggest blind spots , So either Ride in front of them ( i mean ride ahead) or stay back until you get chance to overtake (Left side overtaking not allowed ) . Don't Ride parallel to any of these Heavy Vehicles , because most of time they might not see you and by the time you Honk and flash your poor 35W headlight it will be too late.

4> Generally Truckers will keep some gap between them , that Does not mean you are allowed to Fill in that gap. Its not a fill in the gaps game , It's a highway . So never fill in yourself if you see an tempting Gap between two heavy trucks .

5> Ghats are the prime area where you will enjoy Cornering, but dont get carried away by all those twists and Hairpin bends , Keep it in your mind that you are on highway and not on the Race track. Keep those Knee scraping , foot-peg scraping skill/ practice sessions to the Race track.

6> Google Target Fixation [:D] and Pm me if you've any doubt regarding tis topic.

that it from my side . Over and Out . [:D]
 
Thread Starter #9

TSIVipul

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Here are few tips for Bikers who sometimes think they are invincible and ride as if they own NH, SH . TSIVipul has covered everything but still my 2cents On Riding a Bike on Highways.
My buddy,you know what..I have already prepared a separate thread with the title "Riding your bike-Do's and Don'ts" but still,thanks for adding value to the thread and yes..IT'S GREAT TO SEE A HARDCORE BIKER ON THE FORUM.

1> " You and Your puny 2 wheeler is no match for any Car which weights least a 1000kg " Always Keep this in your mind . No matter even if you own R1, GSXR or Ninja still If you hit a car its going be YOU who will suffer the most out of that Impact. So when ever you are out on Highway Ride just keep your Ego at home and enjoy . If some speeding vehicle starts tail-gating GIVE HIM A WAY ! yes , I mean it .
Simple it is "Cars have bumpers and bikers have bones".So it's the biker who is at the receiving end in such cases.But yes,riding a bike at more-than-car's speed has a joy of itself.

2> I have developed a habit of checking RVM's at every 10-15th second , even if am riding at 120kmph.
+1000,exactly same here.While riding the bike I too check out my RVMs at least twice or thrice every minute.There is always a feeling of insecurity which makes me check it again and again and if I see a car rushing towards me at speeds like 140-150 kph,then I prefer going off it's way even before it comes any close to me and driver takes the pain of blowing the horn.

3> Study and understand the Blind Spots of Vehicle. Trucks, Buses has a biggest blind spots , So either Ride in front of them ( i mean ride ahead) or stay back until you get chance to overtake (Left side overtaking not allowed ) . Don't Ride parallel to any of these Heavy Vehicles , because most of time they might not see you and by the time you Honk and flash your poor 35W headlight it will be too late.
It's always advisable to honk before overtaking such vehicles.This makes them aware that already a PYT(Poor young thing) on 2 wheels is running parallel to them.

4> Generally Truckers will keep some gap between them , that Does not mean you are allowed to Fill in that gap. Its not a fill in the gaps game , It's a highway . So never fill in yourself if you see an tempting Gap between two heavy trucks .
This thing shows it's result if the front moving truck stops all of a sudden and then the truck following you can grind you as well as your vehicle,weather it's a car or a bike.

5> Ghats are the prime area where you will enjoy Cornering, but dont get carried away by all those twists and Hairpin bends , Keep it in your mind that you are on highway and not on the Race track. Keep those Knee scraping , foot-peg scraping skill/ practice sessions to the Race track.
I still remember the day I tailgated a stationary truck on the hills of Uttarakhand on the way to Mussoorie.I took a hairpin at about 60 kph and in front of me was a jeep coming down and when I tried to save the collision and found the bike running towards the truck,my next step was a rolling stoppie to stop the bike before tailgating the truck parked on a side,but stoppie attempt failed and bike stopped after getting it's headlight wrecked!![lol]

6> Google Target Fixation and Pm me if you've any doubt regarding tis topic.
I already know about it and the best way to save yourself from such risks is "Never focus on a single object".

that it from my side . Over and Out . [:D]
Thanks again,I really liked it..
 
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My buddy,you know what..I have already prepared a separate thread with the title "Riding your bike-Do's and Don'ts" but still,thanks for adding value to the thread and yes..IT'S GREAT TO SEE A HARDCORE BIKER ON THE FORUM.


Simple it is "Cars have bumpers and bikers have bones".So it's the biker who is at the receiving end in such cases.But yes,riding a bike at more-than-car's speed has a joy of itself.


I already know about it and the best way to save yourself from such risks is "Never focus on a single object".


Thanks again,I really liked it..
You are most welcome buddy and I am extremely sorry i missed your Bike's thread completely . " Sorry " once again .
 
Thread Starter #11

TSIVipul

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You are most welcome buddy and I am extremely sorry i missed your Bike's thread completely . " Sorry " once again .
My buddy,the thread is prepared but not posted.That means you haven't missed anything.
I'll be posting it at the time I have decided.Before that I'll complete this 'quad' of City,highway,hilly and high speed driving.After that the biking thread.
 

Varun560061

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Hi Sethu, Really a nice video ! Thanks for sharing with us.

I wish some day I drive my car in Yamuna Express Highway.
 
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Nice tips. Maybe you might want to add one more for people who drive in two lane highways that have winding roads. "Stick to you lane while turning round a bend. Never overtake unless you see the road ahead and there is enough space for you to overtake and settle into your lane.'
Do not turn your headlights on during dusk. You can blind the drivers coming from the other side
 

sethumurugan

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Nice tips. Maybe you might want to add one more for people who drive in two lane highways that have winding roads. "Stick to you lane while turning round a bend. Never overtake unless you see the road ahead and there is enough space for you to overtake and settle into your lane.'
Do not turn your headlights on during dusk. You can blind the drivers coming from the other side
Welcome to TAI Mr. Sudhir. Hope you have pleasant stay here and learn and teach good things.

Yes you are right. In turning it is always stick to the middle of the road to avoid any break down vehicles who is parked either side [mostly break down vehicles will be parked either left or right]
 
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